Clover was tired. More tired than usual. Lack of sleep often did that to her, compounding the effects of a physical day. She’d been unable to go to sleep because of a kiss she hadn’t wanted or asked for and still couldn’t seem to push from her mind. Clover checked the bread in the covered bowl she’d set aside that morning. She always liked the smell of raising bread in the morning. Made it more earthy.A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters.
Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running, her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of national bakery chain Upper Crust owner, sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair, who owns the new bakery being built just across the road, she decides that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemy close, rather than leave things to fate.
Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover Loveday a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a Fact Sheet about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay…
A sexy, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.
It had been a nice kiss, well, a great kiss. She rolled the risen dough onto the floured surface and started kneading. Hell, it had knocked her socks off. Left fist. Exactly what she hadn’t wanted. Right fist. Clover blew a strand of hair from her face. Making dough usually let off steam, but this morning it didn’t have the desired effect.
She rolled the soft dough into a long sausage. The dough would make great lunch rolls. She’d add them to today’s menu. Take the rest to the shelter at finish time. She knew exactly what she wanted to do and where she wanted to be. No diversions.
She’d never got so caught up before. Now the sausage was too thick, so she had to start again. This time less force. She just didn’t need a man in her life, no matter how good he was at kissing. She certainly didn’t need to feel so damn good because of it. She picked up a broad-bladed knife and chopped the sausage into sections. Chop. Chop. Chop. The blade made a satisfactory thump on the cutting board. What was it about Liam that had her all confused about her simple life’s rules?
‘Huh? Clover looked up to see Holly lounging on the doorframe. Holly looked from the knife in Clover’s hand to the small blobs of dough scattered over the bench. ‘Are you planning to make rolls for dwarves?’
Clover kept in the sound of frustration as she gathered the bits of dough and started kneading. Again.
‘I’m okay. Just couldn’t sleep last night,’ Clover said.
Holly locked her arms over her chest and rested a hip on the bench. ‘Ah-huh. Any reason you want to particularly share?’
‘No reason.’ The kiss wasn’t the problem. It was the fact she’d let him do it. Just stood there, waiting for him to plant his mouth on hers. She hadn’t the will power or the inclination to stop him. And it had been so nice to let him do it to her. So nice to feel desired, wanted. Nice to give in to what she craved. Just for a moment. A nano-second of bliss.
Then reality had stepped in. Knew where a kiss could lead and that she couldn’t let it pull her into its sweet embrace. The nagging weight of responsibility pushed on her shoulders and she had listened, like she always did. Responded by letting him walk back out her door, angry that she had let it happen in the first instance. Besides, she’d be getting into bed with the enemy. She just couldn’t do that.
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I live in Upwey, a very leafy suburb of outer Melbourne. I can hear most Melbournians say, ‘Where?’ Think Puffing Billy, the hills and inexcusably steep driveways and you're there. We have a house with room for the kids to play in the backyard, the cat to sleep wherever and the husband to lounge on a bean-bag in front of the telly. I love romance because it adds so much to the story. Everyone needs a little love to take them away.
You can find Charmaine on Facebook and learn more about her at www.CharmaineRoss.com.
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